Stuart Weir wrote this feature of the recent NR in the indoor high jump set by Morgan Lake at the height of 1.99 meters!
Morgan Lake clears 1.99 meters
Last weekend Morgan Lake jumped 1.99m to set a new British High Jump record at the Hustopečské skákání, Městská sportovní hala, meeting in the Czech Republic. Since you asked, Hustopečské is in South Moravia, near the Austrian border. The previous British record was held by Katarina Johnson-Thompson, 1.98m set at the Rio Olympics. Morgan commented on Twitter: “1.99m PB and British Record!!!!! I needed that one… grateful for my team and everyone who’s kept believing in me. Excited for this season”.
Morgan Lake seems to have been around forever but she is still only 25. In 2014 she won the World Under 20 in Eugene with 1.93m and the following year the European U20 with 1.91m. In 2017 she was 6th in the World Championship (London) 1.95m and in 2018 fourth in the World Indoors (Birmingham) 1.93m. She has also been the GB champion in the high jump for the past seven years.
In the Rio Olympics, she was 10th jumping 1.94m to qualify and 1.93m in the final. She finished 10th but only four athletes jumped higher. She said of the Rio experience: “I was just happy to have made the Olympics because it had been my dream for a long time. Then a PB to make the final was amazing – all that I was hoping for. An amazing experience”.
She felt privileged to experience a home World Champs in 2017: “Sixth in the final and 1.95 just 1cm down on my PB. I was really happy with how the final went. Obviously, every athlete hopes to get more. But I would have needed a PB to get any higher”. On the added pressure of expectations of the home crowd, she said: “A High jump is definitely a psychological event. What I kept telling myself through the qualifying was that I’d trained so hard this year, a home town so I wanted to make everyone proud and myself proud as well by getting the final”.
She was second (2018) and fourth (2022) and the last two Commonwealth Games and eighth in the past two European Championships. Europeans (1.90m), commenting: “I’m just super super-disappointed really. It’s my fourth European Championships, and I really thought this would be the time that I would start to medal and fulfill my potential but it’s just not there at the moment”.
In Tokyo 2021 she jumped 1.95 to reach the final but had to withdraw due to a foot injury. She warmed up for the final before having to accept that she was unable to perform at the level she was aspiring to and made the difficult decision to withdraw from the final. So disappointing after such a comfortable qualification.
While she is now concentrating on the high jump, she was also a very competent multi-eventer, winning the 2014 World U20 Heptathlon and finishing sixth in the 2016 World Indoor Pentathlon.
‼️ WOW ‼️@morgan_a_lake just broke the British high jump record!
She cleared 1.99m indoors in Czech Republic 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/ZfmqVIZust
— Team GB (@TeamGB) February 4, 2023
In 2017 she told me: “I do want to have one last shot at the heptathlon. It is something I have always loved doing but this year and last year I have had a lot of focus on HJ because of circumstances like injury and training structures and because it is my go-to backup event. I’ve been lucky that it has been going well and I am really enjoying it. I will do another winter of heptathlon work and see where that takes me”. But it did not happen and she has not competed in a multi-event since.
It is great to see her mail an excellent PB so early in the year. Let’s hope it will be stepping stone to higher things – literally!